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Mick Fitzgerald to retire

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  • #3023
    Lingfield
    Member
    • Total Posts 919

    Top HH jockey Mick Fitzgerald has announced his intention to retire at end of season and run an upmarket racing club.<br>Rider of 1000 winners and  most of the big races.<br>Who will get the Henderson stable jockey job?

    (Edited by Lingfield at 7:17 pm on Sep. 19, 2006)

    #77429
    Lovely Lady
    Member
    • Total Posts 160

    sorry to hear.   I’d like to see Andrew Tinkler get it.

    #77430
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8799

    Nice guy. Wish him all the best and hope he gets out in one piece.

    #3024
    Mully
    Member
    • Total Posts 156

    On his day he was up there with the best of them. He has ridden some brave and famous horses and I shall miss seeing him riding. Henderson has described him as one of the best schooling riders around. What he practised on the gallops became reality on the racecourse, he could attack a fence or gentle coax a horse over. <br>Off the course I found Mick to be the perfect gentlemen, always friendly, polite and smiling!<br>I wish him every success in his new career. What will Nicky Henderson do without him?

    From the SP….

    Leading jump jockey Mick Fitzgerald is to retire at the end of the season.

    One of the elite band of riders to win both the Grand National on Rough Quest (1996) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup on See More Business (1999) – Fitzgerald, 36, has decided to bring the curtain down on a glittering career at the top that spans almost 20 years.

    A new venture will see him become director of an exclusive racing club.

    Fitzgerald has also won most of the other major prizes in National Hunt racing, including the 1999 King George VI Chase at Kempton on See More Business.

    And he has a host of victories to his name at the Cheltenham Festival.

    Among those are the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Call Equiname (1999), the Stayers’ Hurdle on Bacchanal (2000) and the Arkle Trophy on Tiutchev.

    Despite not ever being champion, Fitzgerald is one of the six winning-most jump jockeys of all time with well over 1,000 winners.

    Fitzgerald has been stable jockey to Nicky Henderson for over 10 years and their partnership has been one of the most successful in recent times. Only last season they enjoyed a double at Cheltenham with Fondmort in the Ryanair Chase and Non So in the Mildmay of Flete.

    They have also been a most formidable combination at Newbury, winning the Tote Gold Trophy three times with Sharpical (1998), Geos (2000) and Landing Light (2001) and teamed up last season to lift the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup with Trabolgan.

    Fitzgerald said: "I’m going to retire at the end of the season. An offer came up to be director of racing for Club ISM and it was too good to turn down.

    "You can’t go on forever and I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had a fantastic run.

    "For me it has been made even more special that I have ridden for some fantastic people. Be it owners, trainers or whoever.

    "Some of the horses I’ve ridden have been fantastic. I owe them everything.

    "I’m not finished yet, I’ve got some fantastic horses to look forward to riding for Nicky this year too.<br>

    #77444
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8799

    As I said on the other threrad I like him very much as a jockey and he seems a nice person also. Hope he doesn’t suffer any injuries in the meantime. I always prefer it when the jumps jocks retire immediately as it seems to be tempting fate to hang on.

    #77445
    Mully
    Member
    • Total Posts 156

    Sorry Corm, didn’t see the other thread.

    #77431
    irisgift1
    Member
    • Total Posts 70

    will be sad to not see his smiley face around the races had some good laughs with him, i think he is an outstanding jockey and will be greatly missed by all.

    #77432
    Galejade
    Member
    • Total Posts 185

    I hope that Nicky Henderson will consider Marcus Foley seriously for the post. He has similar credentials to those that Mick Fitzgerald had when he was appointed and has been a loyal servant to the yard over the last few years.

    #77433
    Drone
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5124

    Quite agree Galejade, Foley is an underestimated jock anyway imo and more than capable of replacing Fitzgerald.

    Interesting to see how PJ Brennan gets on with Johnson and Wylie this season.

    #77434
    Racing Daily
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1364

    Fitz is in the top 5 of my ‘respect’ list.  He’ll be missed, but he is entitled to an enjoyable retirement.  I wish him all the best.

    #77435
    bluechariot
    Member
    • Total Posts 569

    I think Timmy Murphy would suit Henderson.

    #77436
    sberry
    Member
    • Total Posts 1801

    agree with the good comments posted about him but my abiding memory of him will be his falling off of four highly fancied runners one saturday and in the process transferring about a grand from my pocket to the little bookies opposite the pub – the only plus about that day was that i didn’t have far to go to drink enough to make the pain go away

    #77437
    Salselon
    Member
    • Total Posts 883

    Wasn’t it when he won the grand national on Rough Quest, he said something like "that was the most exciting 8 minutes of my life" to which his then wife replied "what would he know – he never lasted 8 minutes in his life!". Fantastic.

    They split shortly after I heard:cool:

    #77438
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Always liked Fitzy, but he hasn’t been the rider he was (for obvious reasons) for the last 3 years or so. Rides like that he gave Marlborough in the William ill Handicap at the Cheltenham festival were an art form. I wish him well.

    Wouldn’t like to see Foley get the job. Might make it much harder to know whether the Henderson horses will run to form or not.

    #77439
    GreenGreenDesert
    Member
    • Total Posts 127

    I wish Fitzy the best. Don’t think he will have any trouble getting on in the media. As well as a great jockey, he is also articulate, intelligent and has a good craic.

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